Last week of January 2011 bento

28 Feb

I noticed blueberries in the produce section, and was happy.  High in antioxidants, sweet, and not messy (unless crushed), these are the perfect “happy” finger food I offer to my kids.  Although, honestly, I don’t know whether both girls actually eat the berries at daycare – I offered blueberries to both children, and the older one’s pile quickly disappeared.  The little one, in the interim, created a lovely fragrant mess of mushed berries across her high chair table, and told me very indignantly, “Don’t WANNIT!”  She then asked for a napkin, and graciously centralized her mush-mess, and flung the dirty napkin on the floor.  My older daughter blinked, looked at me and said, “Mama.  She threw her napkin on the floor.”  I thanked her for telling (ratting out) me about her sister, and wearily picked up the napkin. 

My older daughter requested tofu.  Hence, I included cubes of House brand tofu, Firm, and sliced carrots in 1/8 inch thick, 1 inch long pieces which I had simmered for a very short time in a little dashi, soy sauce and mirin.   (My short cut version of dashi – take  1 cup water and bring to boil – add tbsp katsuobushi or dried bonito flakes, and take off the heat to steep.  I use ground organic shiitake powder and add to this mixture).  By the way, a fabulous blog by Persephone, who I’ve been following – her blogs are informative, her photos and presentation gorgeous, and her food, adventurous.  A shout out to her – she had a lovely blog about dashi – and graciously mentioned my blog.  Hopefully I didn’t muss up blog protocol… between trying to figure out links, sources and spell-checking, need to make sure I’m not stepping on toes!

Turkey meat-o-ballies made with ground turkey, flax seeds, steel-cut oats, garlic, carrots, ginger and onion all minced and mixed together.  The meatballs were formed and baked in corningware at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Steamed multi-grain rice with black gomashio

Steamed beets, sliced

Blueberries

For this lunch, everything except the rice was polished off.

The first day of February breezed in before a pending ice storm.  I had stopped at the Japanese food store during my lunch hour on Monday, so I was able to pack some goodies for Tuesday lunch.

Tuesday lunch was:

Steamed conventional edamame in pods – I am picky about the origin of the beans themselves.  I steer away from anything sourced from China.  Based on the various recalls from the petfood scare, the gyoza contamination scare, lead paint on toys, and various quality issues that make me dubious of product quality control, I scour the labeling of all foods and make an educated choice.  Hopefully the regulatory body overseeing quality control will resolve whatever loop holes quickly – I certainly don’t mind being able to buy items economically, but just not at the risk of not knowing what’s included in what my children eat.

Seaweed salad – this is pre-packaged and sold at the Japanese grocery.  I’m going to assume the seaweed is conventional – but then again, I have yet to find organic wakame available.  This version is seasoned with, I’m guessing, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and I see thin slices of dried red pepper.

Steamed beets

Steamed multi-grain rice, this time with white sesame seeds and a little sea salt for seasoning.

The edamame, beets and seaweed salad were gone.  We’re struggling with the rice… but she keeps asking for it for lunch!

Ice storm closed school on February 2nd, so she want to daycare with her younger sister.  Knowing how my provider cooks, they both probably had a lovely, healthy, hearty soup or pasta dish that was lovingly cooked.  Quite often, the incredibly fragrant smell of sauce, chicken or soup wafts out of daycare, and I inhale it in as I drop the girls off. 

The last bento day of the week was:

Grilled chicken drumstick seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  I roasted the drumsticks in the oven, covered for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.  I then uncover the corningware, and roast for another 15 – 20 minutes to crisp the surface.  I wrapped the bottom in foil as a “handle” for her chicken

Grape tomatoes

Steamed beets

A little less rice – with sesame seeds and salt.

Can’t believe February is upon us.  What happened to January?  Can I really believe Phil is predicting spring is around the corner? 

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